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A Time for Reflection, Part 1 of 2

December 4, 2015
Joseph T. Pelt - Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

As editor of the Pierce County Tribune these past nine glorious months, one of my favorite duties was to write editorials about subject matters that moved me to write with passion. That being the case, as you know, I didn't write an editorial on a weekly basis. It was my intent, when I used the bully pulpit at my disposal, I would do so when words jumped on the page and my opinion was clear and distinct. I never wanted to bore you with my pontifications about this and that just because space had to be filled, you deserved better and you, my readers, matter to me.

This being my last two weeks as editor of this wonderful paper and reflecting on what has been, I have been compelled to write from my heart and share with you one last time what this position has meant to me.

First, this would not have been possible without Steve, who is the publisher of this paper and the Minot Daily News. Steve is an Alpha male personified, and me being one myself boy did we go at it times. I will miss him, his knowledge, his strength, his passion for the Pierce County Tribune and his desire to make it the best it can be. I can say if it wasn't for the fact that I feel that I can help build this wonderful city of Rugby and thus help the paper I would still be the editor.

My introduction to Rugby wasn't always rose pedals. I can say that 90 percent of my experience in Rugby was positive and life changing, but it was tested within the first week of my time here. Because of a computer snafu I became privy to some caustic emails to a previous editor and a letter to Minot sent anonymously, but I know who sent it.

It seemed that for some, because of my belief that Christians are persecuted around the world and it is shamefully ignored; because of my belief there is such a thing as Islamic Extremist; because I believe in American Exceptionalism as a way of life, not a punch-line in a joke; because I believe in the marketplace and if a bakery chooses not to bake a cake because of religious beliefs then the market place should decide its fate not the government; because I believe in God and Country without hesitation and with resolve; and that I believe in accountability and responsibility when others make excuses for race and culture that I was some sort of "right-wing religious zealot". With this thought process, and because of my belief that there are a thousand ways to do something not just the way some feel it should be done and I do not take the intellectual snobbery that resonates at times in the newspaper industry to heart; that I shouldn't be taken seriously. One person even wrote a letter to Minot warning them of my short-comings that I forwarded to Steve before he even received it with an offer of my resignation.

That is when I knew I made the right choice to choose to work for Steve and Ogden. He didn't blink, he didn't waver, he didn't bow to snobbery of style over substance, he stood beside me and was dedicated to our vision for the Pierce County Tribune. Again, thank you Steve for understanding, believing and kicking my butt at times. You made me a better person, and manager.

The funny thing is a letter was written without ever talking to me, after only my first week; I hope she knows it never changed the way I covered her organization or events. Heck, I am open to criticism, discussion, and contrary points of view; in fact I welcome it, thrive on it and even love it. I am lost without debate and conflict; I think we need more of it rather than this pathetic politically correct pabulum we are so inclined to embrace. I am a reformed 'true' liberal, so I am very comfortable in my knowledge, and lack of, and will defend or bend whatever the case dictates. I understand the cause and effect of actions, I just don't believe it should be an excuse for irresponsibility (thus reformed liberal). That is why I love people like Dan, Dale, and Craig so much. They came in and talked to me, they challenged me, and they made me better because they cared enough to question, listen and agree to disagree when necessary; that is the American way, at least it used to be.

Like I said earlier, that hiccup in the beginning only counted for a mere 10 percent and it really wasn't that bad. The rest of my time here in Rugby has been fantastic. I love this community and that is why I am staying, just in a different capacity. I am hoping I can give back to it, what it has given to me. In addition, I hope that I get input from EVERYONE, on how we together can help Rugby grow while embracing its traditions and its small town charms. We are in this together. My door will be wide open at the JDA , and I hope you will choose to walk through it. It will need all of us, driven by a unified cause, to assist Rugby in reaching its potential.

Part two will be next week, in my last edition of the Pierce County Tribune. I hope you will read it.

 
 

 

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